Without the slightest doubt is Mastroberardino from Campania, the best producer I encountered from the south of Italy. Everything from their magnificent Aglianico wines to white wines with great finesse. Under the leadership of Antonio Mastroberardino, the family have done amazing things for the Campania wine industry. And one example of this leadership is that they have rescued and relaunched vines from the ancient Greco di Tufo grape, which were close to extinction. Nova Serra is made from carefully selected Greco di Tufo grapes with great grape typical complexity and grown on premium position beneath the seductive suger top village Montefusco.
A Maestro's last imprint The great maestro Signore Antonio Mastroberardino, which meant so much to Mastroberardino and especially for wine production in Campania and southern Italy sadly passed away in the beginning of 2014. So this vintage of Nova Serra Greco di Tufo was his last, and most likely is was the best vintage ever. A worthy master imprint on our wine heaven.
The future is already here Now the producer is managed by the multi-talented and extremely likeable Pietro Mastroberardino. Together with his team and especially Antonio Dente who is the most knowledgeable oenologist I've ever met. No coincidence that he was handpicked from university of Napoli to lead Mastroberardinos vines into the future. I have had the great honor to meet both on my last visit to the property. And later this spring you can read our special blog article about my amazing meeting with the producer's vineyards in historic Pompeii.
Photo of Antonio Dente - Maestro and oenologist at Mastroberardino and a person I have every respect and admiration for
Nova Serra Mastroberardino -13 Greco di Tufo The wine comes from the wine slopes approximately 500 meters above sea level beneath my favorite Campania village Montefusco. The soil is composed of volcanic material that gives the wine a unique character.
The color is so beautifully sunny, just like the sunsets over the Campania region. The scent is filled with volcanic minerals, gooseberries and green apples. The taste is amazing with a perfect acidity, oiliness and wonderful gooseberry aromas that settles like a silky creamy layer, like my mother's gooseberry cream. This wine is without any doubt the best white wine I have ever tested from Italy. Just the acidity in the wine is worth a blog article by it self, because it's just so fabulously good. This must be the perfect wine. So impressed by the Mastroberardino's craftsmanship. And you don't have to think that much of what this wine fits together with, for this creation is so much personality that it complements most dishes. But if you force me to make a suggestion it may be a Risotto Frutti di Mare or a fresh salad with Mozzarella di bufala from Campania.
(The label has details from a painting by De Rosa, located on the ceiling of vineyards basement)
And from one masterpiece to another! Tonight's winner at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 is Grande Amore with Il Volo if I can decide. #ForzaItalia
I love Italian wines, as you probably already have guessed. The country has so much to offer in respect of flavor nuances depending on its diverse terroirs, with everything from Sicily in the south to the Alps in the north. Now my wine journey come to an area that I have never written about before. The wine region of the Valtellina is a valley in Lombardy, northern Italy on the border with Switzerland. Today, the area includes known ski resorts, bresaola, good cheeses and magical wines. And historically the valley has played a key role as an alpine pass, where people moved between Italy and Germany.
And in Valtellina the producer Mamete Prevostini plays an important role, one of the best producers (if not the best) in the region. The family has been producing wines in the valley terrace since the mid 40's. First selling wine only to their restaurant's customers and from mid 90's to customers worldwide. The area's dominant grape is Nebbiolo, a grape of great character who often have a high acidity with natural roughness and perfect for dark meat dishes and aged hard cheeses.
San Lorenzo Sassella 2011 Valtellina Superiore Mamete Prevostini The color is bright ruby red, but do not be fooled for this wine is after all made from Nebbiolo. But with a silky character that differs so compared to all other Nebbiolo wines I previously tasted.
Fabulous wine experience The wine has after a proper aeration become fully fledged and ready to take us to an outer space experience. The scent is so incredibly feathery elegant and balanced with hints of hazelnut, cherry and fine oak character. The taste is angelic with a silkiness that exudes class. With a excellent silky style it is still a robustness with clear Nebbiolo fingerprint. Lovely and sweetness simultaneously with a dryness which is unique. aromas of cherries and hazelnuts flows as graceful over the palate like gondolas in Venice or why not a ski teacher up there in the mountains. Its a masterpiece handling Nebbiolo in this way, with a combination of the silkyness and at the same time power. This is truly a fabulous wine experience that perfectly suits an Italian buffet with the very best in long mature hard cheeses and prosciutto. But you can also have it together with a good meat stews and your home made luxury pizza (preferably with a little saltiness of the food when the wine's natural sweetness and acidity creates a perfect symbiosis)
I'm completely charmed and promise on the spot that the wine is included in our annual wine of the year evaluation in the end of 2015.
If you are an Amarone lover, you can also try the producer's magic Sforzato Albareda that is made of dried grapes which also means that it is slightly sweeter in nature. My advice is that you try San Lorenzo Sassella first, which is an excellent introduction to the art of managing Nebbiolo on a silky smooth manner while maintaining power of the amazing Nebbiolo grape. When you are finished with this taste journey you are better equipped to take on what the super-concentrate sforzato can offer.
Mladen Rožanić has worked in the Rhone Valley (Rhône) and learned the craftsmanship all the way through skills from great French winemakers. And in Rhone was also born his vision to be able to produce top Istrian wines in the future. He began the search for the most favorable growing areas in Istria. In 2004, he met the winemaker Antun Banko, a producer from Kosinožići near Nova Vas. They found a common interest and passion to bring out the best from western Istria. For four years, they planted 23 hectares in red soils near Višnjan, an area that has an ideal terroir for viticulture.
Roxanich Super Istrian Cuvée 2008 The wine is a natural wine made from a grape combination of 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Borgonja (Gamay). The color of the wine is dark brick red and looks very beautiful in the glass. The fragrance is so wonderful characterized by the sweet terroir and features a large and expressive character in the shape of stable, black currant, and a terrific concentrated spiciness that you normally only experience from the best Rhone producers. What a start !!!
+60 seconds The taste delivers to the maximum. It presents lovely aromas of fresh herbs, green grass, black currant, vanilla and dark berries. So amazingly good and the pure taste plays wonderfully over the palate for more than +60 seconds and it is very impressive. A producer who will soon become cult winemaker from Croatia, mark my words. For after testing this top natural wine from Roxanich it's time to put Croatia on the priority wine map.
Soooo happy to have found a new wine favorite from beautiful Croatia
Ps Roxanich is a member of Grand Cro – Premium Croatian Wine Estates. (www.grandcro.com) Would you like to know more about natural wines? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_wine)
I have had the privilege of visit the Russian River Valley (Sonoma County, California) at one point in life together with Californian wine collector. The visit was a very special memory that stays on my retina forever. Especially for the reason that I got two absolute favorites in the shape of wines from the two italian origin producers Martinelli and Rochioli.
Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake regarding wine purchases during the visit. To my great surprise (discovered afterwards) the tour began, in the adorable beautiful valley, with visits to the two fantastic producers. And with my plan that everything would be even better later on, I decided just to buy a single bottle from each property. Ahhh I regret it still this day. So if you are planning a visit in these magically beautiful wine region, I can heartily recommend that you instead end up with the these two producers.
I have long tried to get hold of wines from Rochioli which I believe makes one of the US premier Pinot Noirs and as many customers in the US line up every year to buy the precious bottles. But luckily we can today buy both the Chardonnay and Pinot in Sweden at Systembolaget.
New taste journey But lets start the new taste journey by going back in history. Joe Rochioli emigrated with his parents in 1911 to the United States from the Tuscan town of Lucca. He started working as most of the other kids (at the time) already at 10 years old. And eventually he became foreman at Wohler Ranch in the Russian River Valley.
The next step was the move to Fenton Acres where Rochioli Estate is located today. And after much savings Joe Sr. could purchase the property. He unfortunately died already in 1966 and after selling the harvest to other producers, the family started in 1983 to make wines under the own name. Joe Jr. laid the foundation for today's success story with the cultivation of grape varieties as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which fits excellently well in this particular region.
Today the company is managed successfully by Joe Jr.'s son Tom Rochioli and since the first vintage of their Pinot and Chardonnay wines they are perceived as some of the best wines made in the USA.
Rochioli Estate Chardonnay 2012 The wine present it self with a wonderful sunset yellow color along with a seductive fresh scent of citrus, vanilla and nuttiness. Taste aromas is divinely good with a perfection of acid, minerals, and world-class aromas of citrus with a silky nano-layers of vanilla, ripe apricots and Golden Delicious apples.
What a tremendously good Chardonnay, that is still under development. This wine, you can enjoy to the last sip, but after the first glass I recommend that you to let it sit overnight in the fridge to get even more essence next day. For the wine just keeps getting better! So happy that my reunion with one of Rochiolis wines was more than successful. And best of all is that I've Pinot for next weekend.
Wine tipsPosted by Per-Olof Diderot Sat, February 21, 2015 13:43:20 Wines from Napa Valley in California has long been a great favorite for Wineblogg although our budget sometimes have protested loudly. So when I recently went to Southern California , I had to bring with me Chateau Montelena to US to be on the safe side. If you are following our wine blog regularly you may have noticed that I paid homage to the previous vintage of this magical good Chardonnay. www.wineblogg.com/#post276 And the launched vintage of 2011 certainly lives up to all expectations.
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (nr 71649) för 301 kr Chardonnay lover that I am, I am seduced by this wine's wonderfully balanced aroma and flavor with nuances of minerals, mango, pineapple, citrus and nuts. So silky seductive, yet at the same time a fullness that creates magic in the palate.
Talk about wine for a delicious seafood symphony, ideally including lobster. And how lucky we Swedish wine consumers can buy this wine for 15 USD less compared to wine stores in California. Just to thank the producer and the Swedish importer Terrific Wines for this generosity. And we shall we immediately reciprocate this fact by buying out the stock. For believe me, US probably best Chardonnay is worth every penny.
Innovative wines from Veneto In March 2014 I was first acquainted with wines from the Veneto producer Massimago. I was completely seduced by the innovative wines produced by the genius Camilla Rossi Chauvenet. The property was brought to life as late as in 2003, and the first vintage was born the following year. The word Massimago is a play on the Latin term "Maximum Agium" which means "The most benefit". They only produce 4000 bottles of this lovely bubbly rosé and its produced only 1 km from the estate of Roccolo Grassi in the eastern part of Valpolicella at an altitude of 150-300 meters above sea level. Dource: www.massimago.com samt www.clubamarone.se
This week I got a big positive surprise when a friend was kind enough to give me a bottle Mago. The wine is not sold in Sweden yet but this made me extra curious, because I think that the area also produces magically good white and rosé wines, although Veneto is best known in Sweden for its red wines, especially the Amarone.
My curiosity for this rosé bubbly became so strong that it was already opened this weekend. And what lovely wine experience it surely was.
The wine is made from 100% Corvina (red wine grape that is used in Amarone) harvested in August. The color is exactly the one I think rosé wines should have, just a touch of pink apricot color and beyond what strawberry color is.
Extraordinary bubbly The fragrance is seductive with a combination of minerals and splashes of strawberry, peach and finally apricot freshly harvested from the Amalfi coast. And the taste gives me goose bumps which occurs only 5-10 times a year when I drink something extra special. Aromas of super tasty minerals washes over the palate and adds itself as a comfortable blanket over the taste buds. The fruit with subtle tones of wild strawberries together with a perfectly balanced acidity create something extraordinary and thankfully the wonderful taste stays in the mouth for a long time. Have tried many bubbly wines from Franciacorta (Italy's answer to Champagne) but this beats everything in comparison.
Too bad that the wine is not yet available for purchase in Sweden, but if it arrives here I will be first in line.
Domaine Leon Barral Jadis 2011 With true passion for wine it is easy to take my taste buds for a wine joy ride around the world. But as with all journeys, it is always nice to come home to my castle. And this is also my preference in the wine world. For France introduced me to this divine liquid creation (wine) and their wines are always close to my heart even though I love to try wines from other regions. And a region in France that went from rock bottom to the top in my wine world is Languedoc in south-eastern France. Talk about one of the biggest wine revolutions and especially fitting given the country's history.
Sustainable wine production Let me have the great pleasure to introduce the producer Domaine Leon Barral from Lenthéric (Cabrerolles) in the Languedoc appellation Faugéres. The property was founded as late as 1993, and the name comes from the founder's Didier grandfather. Today the property consists of approximately 30 hectares and is itself evidence of the area's wine revolution.
Employees from the animal kingdom For this property takes help from their farm's cows, horses and pigs to create the best biodynamic conditions through active symbiosis between animals, nature and vines. Along with vines that are up to 90 years old and the wonderful Mediterranean climate creates true wine magic.
Wine love at first sip The color of the wine is beautifully heart dark red. And it symbolizes all the love I got for this wine after having experienced it for the first time. Let us join together to share my experience of this masterpiece.
Both the aroma and flavor make an exciting journey into the acid and the mineral realm. Combine this with the nose aromas of wild raspberries, thyme, oregano, basil. The taste is so seductive and captivating that you almost lose your breath of pleasure. The palate is silky with fresh herbs, raspberry, licorice and delicious tannins of world class. This is an absolutely fantastic wine that I am so grateful to have been acquainted with. Feels like an eternal love is born between this producer's wines and wineblogg. Although this is the producers second wine in line, I give it 9/10 wineblogg corks. And lucky that we have more left in the cellar including big brother Valiniere.
It makes me extra happy that this wine is produced according to biodynamic principles and at the same time it provides a confirmation of how much further you can come if you master this skills well.
Italian bubbly wines makes my heart pump extra, and when I got the chance to test the ecological Prosecco from producer Tenuta Giol it was with great pleasure. The property has long roots down in wine history and was established already in 1427. But the producer must excuse me because I am more interested in what has happened last hundred years.
The estate was purchased by Giovanni Giol in 1919, who had recently returned from Mendoza in Argentina, where he had emigrated at a very young age. There he built a wine empire and one of the largest vineyards in the world. Back in Italy, he bought the entire estate from the family Papadopoli. Today, his grandchild Luisa responsible and proudly continues to manage and develop this wine paradise with the help of her son Vittorio.
Ecological all the way! Giol strive to combine the highest quality with the utmost respect for the environment, that's why they only use organic production methods. They do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers, instead they use products of vegetable, animal or mineral origin which offers lower toxicity to the vines and less pollution for both soil and groundwater. And most gratifying is that the property achieved eco-certification already in 1987.
Giol Prosecco Organic Brut The grape Glera (also called Prosecco) is usally used for producing Prosecco which in this bubble, but it is also allowed to use the grape Bianchetta in combination with Glera.
But now finally over to this good wine. The color is pale yellow and the smell is distinctly fruity with hints of pear and peach and ending up with a pleasant flowery note. The taste is dry and mouth filled with delicious fruit and acidity that awake all taste buds directly. A pure experience that really gives value for money. Ideal both for an aperitif or for example in combination with a vegetarian risotto.
For less than 10 euros this is an excellent companion in the future.
Brunello (local clone of the Sangiovese grape) di Montalcino (beautiful medieval town in southern part of Tuscany) is for me personally forever associated with Tuscan super quality wine and it is also unfortunately the disadvantage of high prices. But here is something very special and affordable for special moments in life.
Angelo Gaja is Italy's most successful winemaker ever. His wines have conquered more "Three glasses" rating in the Italian wine bible Gambero Rosso than anyone else. He makes top wines in both the Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco), Montalcino and Bolgheri in Tuscany. It all started 1869 in the small town of Barbaresco by the founder Giovanno Gaja, Angelo's grandfather. Angelo trained as oenologist and when he took over the company he started a quality-improvement work that made him the master of the "Italian wine revolution".
Santa Restituta is the patron saint of the island of Ischia (near Naples, Italy), where she miraculously freed from their pagan torturers who had planned to kill her in the sea. Naples Cathedral include the Basilica di Santa Restituta and some of the greatest works of art from the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance. I visited the church appropriately this past summer and shot the above image.
Brunello di Montalcino Pieve Santa Restituta -08 The scent is fabulous, with stunning shades of rosehip, white and black pepper, cherry, basil, roses and Italian chocolate! The taste is of hallelujah level with a great acidity and balanced tannins. Hugely appealing aromas filled with dried cherries, balsamic, black tea, tobacco, rose, basil and enjoyable chocolate aromas.
An incredibly good food wine that is already delivering on top despite its youth. Wineblogg give it 8/10 Winebloggcorks. And hopefully more to come with a few years of storage.
Autumn has arrived and finally time for some good meat and root vegetable stews. In addition, the time of year when Wineblogg long for desserts. A good cheese platter or personal favorite apple pie. And as icing on the cake it most suitable to serve a good dessert wine.
Golden Spiral Ice is no Icewein as the name might suggest. But it does not matter because this Auslese produced by Weinkellerei Hechtsheim is a shining example of what German dessert wines can deliver and in addition to the incredibly attractive price of only 8 euros for a half bottle.
The wine is made from the grape combination Sylvaner, Riesling, Scheurebe, Kerner and Grauburgunder. The color is as beautiful as ambers picked on the beach in Danish Skagen. The nose is filled with suggestive hints of honey and dried apricots. The taste is impressive with aromas of creme brulee, honey, dried apricot and gives a great impression with good balance between acidity and sweetness.
Made for apple pie with the acidity from the fruit and the sweet drops in perfect harmony. I give the wine 6/10 Wineblogg corks.
Earlier this year I tasted a seductive wine from the Italian producer Montalbera, made from the red grape prince Ruche di Castagnole (www.wineblogg.com/#post278). Now its time 4 a Barbera D'Asti from the talented producer. And I already want to declare that this wine is as brilliant as his sibling.
Lequilibrio Barbera D'Asti DOCG -11 from Società Agricola Montalbera
The property is located at Castagnole Monferrato in the northwestern part of Italy in the Piedmont wine region. The grapes for this wine is 100% Barbera with an average age for the vines of approximately 20 years.
The aroma is intense with lovely shades of leather and tobacco, just like my childhood family get together. The taste is just as good with nice acidity, delicious tannins and a silky touch followed by plum and cherry dreams that overwhelms the mouth. As beauty and the beast in the same bottle.
For 22 euros is a guaranteed companion to the upcoming autumn meat stews and new pasta experiments . Congratulations to the producer Montalbera to another wine success with an interesting balanced flavor story to tell.
Tasmania is an Australian island situated one hour's flight south of Melbourne. The island is almost as large as Ireland. The climate on the island is pleasant without too extreme variations. This means that the grapes are given a slow maturation process that contributes to natural high acidity together with crispy flavors. Although Tasmania accounts for only 0.2% of Australia's total wine production, the region will show its presence on the global wine scene in the future.
The tested wine is produced by Josef Chromy wines. The founder was born in the Czech Republic and emigrated to Australia in 1950. www.josefchromy.com.au
The aroma is full of minerals and is perceived as you smell a handful of gravel. Along with distinct mineral character you also get delicate shades of citrus, pear, apple and pineapple.
The palate is mineral-fueled and is ideal when you long for a dry crispy Riesling wine. You will also experience delicious flavor nuances of green apple, peach, herbs and lime.
I was really happy and positively surprised to have tried this excellent fingerprint wine from an area almost as far away as it can be, on the other side of the globe.
When New Zealand wines are so in vogue, wines from Tasmania deserves more attention. Soil and microclimate seems to be perfect for both Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (just like South African wine region Elgin Valley). So now it is just to continue to explore what the wine industry in Tasmania has to offer (although Swedish Systembolaget range of wines from Tasmania is very limited).